Sunday, 15 April, 2012 8:06 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Nick
credit: Viva Van Story
country music artist Nick 13
2011 CMA Close Up News Service
There’s room on
the dance floor for fans of West Coast Country, Americana and maybe
mellowed-out punk whenever Nick 13 takes to the stage. You may recognize
this L.A.-based singer/ songwriter from his run as founder and core
member of the psychobilly mainstay Tiger Army. But on his self-titled
solo debut, he draws more from the ‘billy than the psycho
side of his past, with intriguing results.
Produced by Greg Leisz
and James Intveld, these 10 tracks feature dreamy, shimmering Gretsch
guitar, punctuated by spaghetti-Western low licks and bathed in
mercurial sheens of steel guitar. All of this floats over grooves
that focus drummer Mitch Marine entirely on the snare. The contrast
between this sonic backdrop and these laid-back but insistent rhythms
is heightened by the songs, all of them written by Nick 13 except
for “Gambler’s Life,” a co-write with Alain Whyte.
With their emphasis on minor modes, their restlessness suggests
shadows drifting through the night toward far horizons.
Nick 13, whose name eulogizes
his first band, Influence 13, shows a strong Bakersfield influence
but infuses it now and then with vintage Texas elements, whether
through the accordion on “Restless Moon” or the throwback
instrumentation of acoustic bass, lap steel and a boom-chuck guitar
gallop on “All Alone.” In every setting, he sings with
a detached but not dispassionate delivery that draws attention to
the lyric without excess vocal distractions. Strangely, this same
approach, tinged with reverb on “In the Orchard 2001,”
echoes Roy Orbison’s without the rockabilly legend’s
dramatic, multi-range exhibitions.
Retro yet absolutely
in tune with our times, Nick 13 has hit its lucky number.
In His Own Words
“Ray Price. He’s
always played the style he wanted to, regardless of what was popular.
You can’t be true to anyone or anything musically if you’re
not true to yourself.”
CD IN YOUR STEREO
“Reason and Rhyme,
by Jim Lauderdale.”
FAVORITE FOOD ON
“Barbecue, no question.”
DREAM DUET PARTNER
or Loretta Lynn.”
NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
off the road, I’m a real homebody.”
On the Web: www.Nick13.com
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